(NECN: Peter Howe, Yarmouth/Cummaquid/Sandwich, Mass.) - For more than 48 hours, NSTAR crews and tree-clearing crews have been pushing to restore electricity to tens of thousands of blacked-out customers on Cape Cod and in Plymouth County.
Now patience is starting to fray as residents say: We know it's a big mess. Just give us some clue how much longer it will last.
"There's a frustration, which I share, about NSTAR's level of public information," said U.S. Rep. William R. Keating, a Bourne Democrat. Keating said he's hearing over and over that people want to know "is this going to be one more day, or is this going to be three more days? Because if the pipes are going to get frozen, people are going to make decisions off (knowing) that, they'll make decisions about whether to stay in their home or move into a shelter." As of 5 p.m. Monday, NSTAR reported more than 90,000 customers without electricity in Massachusetts, including 35 percent of Sandwich, 42 percent of Bourne, and 47 percent of Plymouth.
Keating had joined Gov. Deval L. Patrick in touring an emergency shelter at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, which had been sheltering about 300 people Sunday and still had 100 as of midday Monday.
"I had a chance to go around and visit with some of the folks who've had to take shelter here, and there's a remarkable patience and grace among folks who are in many cases just barely out of harm's way," Patrick said. "I do want to say I fully understand that people will lose their patience after a time of not having power ... I think the utilities have made great progress, but they need to keep making great progress."
With videographer John J. Hammann